Accessibility of Public Sector Websites: Are you ready?

Following a consultation earlier this year, the government is implementing new regulations to make public sector websites and apps accessible to everyone, especially users with disabilities. The regulations are part of an EU directive. In order to comply, web sites must meet the requirements set out in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) at level AA.

Our ESB Agile platform has been built with accessibility by design, and the ongoing improvement of accessibility continues to be an important part of the product’s development. This is particularly relevant as accessibility standards and technologies are constantly evolving.

It is important to remember however that accessibility is not just about choosing the right technology platform: Accessibility is a set of principals that affect every aspect of the design and ongoing maintenance of on-line services – from selecting suitably contrasting colours to utilising simple, straight-forward language. A crucial part of improving accessibility is to improve the awareness among software suppliers, web designers and system administrators.

Accessibility Audit

If you are an existing user of the ESB Agile platform you are already well on your way to being fully compliant with the WCAG 2.0 guidelines. However, accessibility is not just about the platform – it is also influenced by the design of your forms and your overall web site design, including any custom styling for things like headers, footers and colour schemes. A poorly-designed ESB form can still violate the accessibility guidelines – even though the platform itself is compliant. For this reason we are offering our customers an audit of their on-line forms to identify any compliance issues and to provide help and advice to enable full compliance. Please contact your account manager for more information.

Not already an ESB user?

If you don’t currently use ESB to provide your on-line forms we can still provide advice to help you comply – just contact us to discuss your requirements.

The Pentagull Difference

At Pentagull we take a hands-on approach to building accessible products which includes considerable real-world testing using a range of assistive technologies and operating systems. All of our products – including both web-based and mobile apps, are tested for accessibility by real people using a range of real devices. A lot of software suppliers focus on the public-facing parts of their products but neglect the back-office elements that are accessed by local authority employees. By contrast, every aspect of the ESB Agile platform – including all the back-office and configuration areas of the system – are designed to be fully accessible. We are extremely proud of this achievement and believe that we are one of the few software suppliers who take a truly inclusive and universal approach to accessibility.

Other news stories

ESB 21.07 Released
ESB 21.07 Released

Pentagull is pleased to announce the release of version 21.07 of the ESB platform. This release includes some great new features in addition to the usual incremental improvements.

We're going to the next LARAC event, are you?

We are excited to announce that we will be sponsoring the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC), event in Glasgow on 24th August 2021. The event we will be sponsoring will be held at the Grand Central Hotel and will look in depth at the key issues around running an efficient and effective local authority waste and recycling service.

Two booking systems live in one day!
Two booking systems live in one day!

We are extremely happy to announce that West London Waste Authority’s HWRC booking system and Findhorn Village Conservation Company’s motorhome booking system have both gone live and are now seamlessly taking bookings.

First Edinburgh libraries reopen with the help of Pentagull’s booking system
First Edinburgh libraries reopen with the help of Pentagull’s booking system

The City of Edinburgh Council opens the doors of its libraries today for the first time since the December 2020 lock down. The first 4 libraries will open today with the remainder opening at various times later this month. All visitors to the libraries are required to book a slot in advance via an online booking form provided by Pentagull. The booking form lets visitors choose a time that suits them with no risk of being turned away due to the libraries being too busy.

ESB 21.04 Released
ESB 21.04 Released

Pentagull is delighted to announce the release of version 21.04 of the ESB platform. This release includes a range of incremental improvements in the areas of system configuration. There are also a number of technology improvements including use of updated Jquery and Bootstrap libraries and some security hardening.

Pentagull becomes an accredited Real Living Wage employer
Pentagull becomes an accredited Real Living Wage employer

We are pleased to announce that Pentagull has become a real living wage employer, accredited by the Living Wage Foundation. Our Living Wage commitment will see everyone working at Pentagull receive a minimum hourly wage of £9.50. This rate is significantly higher than the government minimum for over 25s, which currently stands at £8.72 per hour. This move will help solidify our long-term investment in our people.